Favorite films

  • Before Sunset
  • Last Year at Marienbad
  • Holiday
  • The Young Girls of Rochefort

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  • The Vampires or, The Arch Criminals of Paris

    ★★★★★

  • For Me and My Gal

  • Daïnah la Métisse

  • Camille

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  • The Vampires or, The Arch Criminals of Paris

    The Vampires or, The Arch Criminals of Paris

    ★★★★★

    Feuillade’s great, sprawling evocation of the Parisian underworld, lorded over by the Vampire Gang, a mysterious criminal organization headed by female super-villain Irma Vep. For nearly seven hours the serially-constructed, ten episode film allows the viewer to amble through actual fin-de-siècle Paris locations alongside cops & robbers alike, until all become hopelessly lost in a labyrinth of back stories, narrative tangents, & side characters. If moment-to-moment it’s not always riveting, it’s impossible to deny what Jonathan Rosenbaum characterizes as its “awesome cumulative…

  • For Me and My Gal

    For Me and My Gal

    Just to get this off my chest from the jump: the unflattering, matronly hairstyle forced upon Garland here is cruel & unforgivable. Further evidence of why Judy needed the gays!

    Otherwise, a film that kept marching in directions I was not at all expecting, constantly upending narrative expectations as soon as it would set them up. Which is a quality I'm usually very drawn to, but here found increasingly annoying & finally culminated in an utterly exasperated viewing state through the last…

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  • Personal Shopper

    Personal Shopper

    ★★★★★

    Just tremendous, I'm sorry it took me so long to finally get around to this. If Val Lewton was making films in the digital age this is more or less what I'd expect them to be like, with the quaint genre conventions of early 20th century gothic horror neatly remolded into a form as coldly sleek as an iPhone. That this reconfiguration works so beautifully is not to downplay its boldness: it's quite the proposition to assert that the restless…

  • Licorice Pizza

    Licorice Pizza

    Just putting my cards on the table from the jump: I came to this as a longtime PTA skeptic who was completely knocked sideways by Phantom Thread & hoped it meant we had finally hit upon a compatible wavelength. So that I ultimately fell on the positive side of mixed actually indicates some major progress in this journey for us!

    And for the first third of the film I was all in. The opening sequence is one of the most dazzling…